Okay, as some of you know, my first job was in my local comic book store, Comicmania, when I was 13. I hung out there so much that John (the owner) let me watch the register while he went to lunch or went for meetings (thinking back as to what kind of “meetings” a comic book store owner might have leaves me scratching my head). Then, gradually I began working 6-8 hour shifts. I don’t think I ever got a single bit of cash from that job — I was paid in comics. And when it was slow, I read comics. I read a lot of comics. I was a comic fiend. When I wasn’t reading them, I was (attempting) drawing them. Sitting in that store (where now sits a Yardhouse in downtown Brea) are honestly some of my most treasured memories.
I must say one of the great perks was that I didn’t just work at any ol’ comic store, but I worked at the one local comic book artists went to, like some of the founders of Image. So along the way I met some truly awesome and inspiring people who I had been idolizing through their printed works. I was 13 and I had the best job in the world.
Anyway, as you can imagine at the time, I wanted comic book movies. I really really really really wanted cool, awesome, fantastic, comic book movies. What did I get? Dolph Lundgren as the Punisher. 1991’s stinkfest that is Captain America. Our one bright star was Batman. And after its success we finally thought, “alright, bring on the onslaught of awesome comic movies!!!” Then we got Stallon as Judge Dread. And then the Mask with Jim Carry. A slap in the face to all Mask fans. Then Spawn made me doubt my loyalty to Mr McFarlane who visited our store on occasion. As the last straw? Shaq as Steel – okay shoot me now.
I wanted SPIDER-MAN! I wanted the UNCANNY X-MEN!!! I wanted the FANTASTIC FOUR!!! I wanted the INCREDIBLE HULK!!!! I wanted GHOST RIDER!!!! I wanted WEST COAST AVENGERS!!! Come on Stan Lee give me something to be proud of!!!
Then it happened.
I saw it and thought silently as not to jinx it – this could be the turning point. Then, not too long after, I heard the news. News that gave me goosebumps, the same way I’m getting them now just remembering it. I read the words: X-Men. The movie.
I waited the next year or so, following closely X-men‘s production. Everything looked great, but would it be? I went as saw it opening night with my non-comic book friend (yes, that’s how I label you people). Afterward, I felt a sense of satisfaction like no other. Then my roommate woke me from my euphoria, raving about how awesome the movie was. I knew right then more comic movies would be made. And Spider-Man would have to be on that list. I was a kid again.
I’m not going to review every comic movie that came out since. But even with the set backs (Fantastic Four) I love watching them. I love them, because they got made and it appeared they were getting better. Now Spider-Man was a really fun movie. As a huge fan, of course I had problems with it. The biggest one is freakin’ Toby. I just don’t like him as an actor – his face bugs me. The second movie was alright, but still felt like it was missing something. So my hopes lie with this third film. From what I’ve read and seen, it has the potential to be the best or worst of the three. And I must admit the trailer gave me those all to familiar goosebumps. It also inspired this blog.
Currently reading: Complete Frank Miller Spider-Man by Frank Miller
Image: Me and Doc Ock at Comic Con by DAEdesign